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8 Places to Find Extra Cash

You could be accumulating some surprising savings

find cash you did not know you had

Extra cash and savings could be hiding in places you never thought to look. — Photo by Martin Poole/Getty Images

En español | Buried in that kitchen table paperwork or beneath the floor mats of the car, you could be accumulating some surprising savings — and not even know! Here are eight possible cash stashes to mine around your home and workplace:

1. Credit card points and loyalty programs. Most people save credit card points for travel, but you can earn valuable day-to-day items, even without a big balance. Every program differs, but for fewer than 10,000 points one major company currently offers DVDs, dining gift cards, cameras, computer speakers, energy-efficient light bulbs, vacuum cleaners and even that video game your grandson wants for his birthday — all with free shipping and returns.

Occasional sales give you more bang for your digital buck. Check your card’s policy to determine how you can more quickly qualify for merchandise.

2. Loyalty programs. Revisit those dusty loyalty programs to which you belong — grocery stores, pet stores, rental cars. Remember that hotel loyalty program you signed up for in the lobby last year as your husband dragged in the luggage? You might have a free night waiting for you.

3. Extra change. Car floor mats, glove compartments, dresser drawers and your spouse’s pockets or purse may not yield much at first, but be patient, and you’d be surprised how quickly these coins add up.

Your bank may have a machine that automatically counts coins and gives you full value for them. Many grocery stores have coin-counting machines that let you choose between a voucher (minus a 9.5 percent fee) to use in that store only, and a gift card (no fee) for Starbucks, CVS, Amazon and dozens of other vendors and charities.

4. Silver and gold, silver and gold... Yes, you can get cash for those out-of-style earrings and the ugly place setting you inherited from Great Aunt Betty. Sold by weight, they’ll fetch you a percentage of that day’s market value (silver was about $30 an ounce at the time of writing), minus a percentage for the buyer (expect around 20-25 percent).

Skip the “we’ll send you an envelope” companies and “one-day-only” hotel events. Instead, visit only reputable jewelers for examination and weighing that you can monitor.

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